Oral Answer by Senior Minister of State, Dr Koh Poh Koon to PQ on kickbacks offences
NOTICE PAPER NO. 549 OF 2021 FOR THE SITTING ON OR AFTER 27 JULY 2021
QUESTION NO. 1409 FOR ORAL ANSWER
MP: Mr Louis Ng Kok Kwang
To ask the Minister for Manpower (a) what are the top three ways by which the Ministry is alerted to potential kickback offences; (b) what are the respective percentages of cases that are reported via each of the top three ways by which the Ministry is alerted to kickback offences; and (c) how is the Ministry strengthening efforts to get workers to report kickback offences.
1. Between 2016 and 2020, MOM looked into an average of 960 cases per year for kickback offences. Of these, about two-thirds are complaints lodged by migrant workers, one third are referrals from members of public, NGOs, and other public agencies, while a small number are detected through MOM’s proactive inspections based on data analytics.
2. To encourage migrant workers to come forward to report kickbacks early without fear of reprisal from their employers, MOM will facilitate a change of employment for those who wish to continue to work in Singapore. MOM will also refer affected migrant workers to selected employment agencies, which are committed not to charge these workers any fees for the job placement.
3. MOM also educates first-time migrant workers on kickback offences and ways to seek help through the mandatory Settling-In-Programme. We have stepped up our engagement and education efforts by tapping on the network of migrant worker volunteers being developed by the ACE group and MWC ambassadors to disseminate key employment messages. MOM will continue to work with community partners, leverage technology such as the FWMOMCare app and tap on social media channels to amplify these messages and reach out to more migrant workers.